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Since the city council has decided that it needed to raise our sewer rates even more from the already-too-high that they are I have heard nothing but despair from people who can’t afford another dime. Then I read a letter in the Triplicate written by some lady who works for the city saying since her electric bill has gone up to $200, paying a $70 sewer bill is no big deal. Well, good for her that she can afford to be so cavalier about paying so much for either utility. Seriously, she is defending the indefensible, and insulting a vast number of people who are trying to decide what to give up this month. Should it be food or medicine? That’s a reality many of us live.
Here’s a reality check for the letter writer. This city has a very high poverty rate and lots of disabled people living on SSI which just got a cut from the state. People subsisting on Social Security, a majority of our seniors, have not gotten a cost of living raise in over 3 years. With prices going up on everything and incomes stagnating or going down, so many of us are trying to do more with less. A combination of an increase in electricity, sewer and food prices is overwhelming for so many. It’s so comforting to know that at least one person in town thinks it’s no big deal. Wish she had to try and pay her bills on my income. She’d surely be signing a different tune.
Those of us who spoke out against the sewer project and proposed rate hikes told the city council that many people can barely make it on their tiny checks already and they did not listen. Now we’re telling them we can’t afford another dime, and they still aren’t listening. There’s nothing left to cut in my budget, my income is going down not up. I have to question their ability to lead on this issue. If they won’t listen to the people maybe we need to get people in those chairs who will. I’ve heard rumblings of a recall. I’m ready to sign.